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Car Insurance in South Dakota
South Dakota Car Insurance
Every driver in South Dakota is required to prove financial responsibility to legally operate a vehicle.
The most common way that drivers meet this requirement is by purchasing car insurance.
Car Insurance Requirements
In order to comply with South Dakota law, you'll need to purchase and maintain:
- Liability coverage.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
In order to cover the costs of injury or property damage to another person in an accident you cause, you must hold the following minimum amounts of liability coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death, per person.
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to multiple people in an accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist
All car insurance policies in South Dakota must include coverage to pay for injuries that you incur in an accident with an uninsured driver, or a driver who doesn't have enough insurance to cover your costs.
Insurance companies offer many optional types of coverage that afford drivers additional protection when accidents occur.
When you are shopping around for insurance quotes, remember to investigate which of the following types of coverage you might want to add to your policy. Optional coverage typically includes:
- Collision – Helps cover your costs when your vehicle is damaged after an accident.
- Comprehensive – Pays for non-collision-related damages to your vehicle, such as those from vandalism and theft.
- Medical payments – Covers your medical costs after an accident, up to the limits of your coverage.
- Auto loan/lease – Helps cover the difference between the amount you owe on your vehicle and the current actual cash value.
- Towing and labor.
- Customized parts and equipment.
- Rental reimbursement.
Proof of Insurance
South Dakota law requires all drivers in the state to have their proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times and to furnish it to a police officer upon request.
The most common proof of insurance is your ID card provided by your insurance company, which includes:
- The insurance company's name.
- Your policy number.
- The effective date of coverage and expiration date.
NOTE: If you chose to prove financial responsibility by alternate means, proof can be a certificate of deposit from the State Treasurer or a Certificate of Self-Insurance.
Car Insurance Violations
It is illegal to drive in South Dakota without car insurance. If you are found to be driving uninsured, you'll face:
- $100 fine.
- 30 days in jail.
- Suspension of your driver's license for up to 1 year.
- Mandatory SR-22 proof of insurance for 3 years (see below).
Driving while uninsured can result in a mandatory SR-22 filing. An SR-22 is a proof of insurance that guarantees you will hold the minimum coverage for a full 3 years.
Any insurance company licensed to do business in South Dakota may file this form for you.
If you neglect to file an SR-22, you will be subject to:
- Driver's license suspension.
- Suspension of your vehicle registration and license plates.
NOTE: If, at any time, you change vehicles or insurance companies, you must request your insurance company re-file the SR-22.
Your insurance company has the right to non-renew your car insurance policy for any reason; however, they must provide notice in advance of cancelling the policy.
Where cancellation is concerned, your insurance company can only elect to cancel your policy in the middle of your term IF:
- You did not pay your premium.
- You lost your driving privileges.
NOTE: Having too many traffic violations can also affect your ability to get or renew a car insurance policy. (See “South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan" below.)
South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan
Having a poor driving record or a history of many claims can make it very difficult to find or maintain an auto insurance policy, as car insurance companies are hesitant to take on unnecessary risk.
If you are unable to find an insurance company to cover you, you can apply through the South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan.
This plan provides “high-risk" drivers the opportunity to obtain the required car insurance by distributing risk amongst all insurance providers in the plan.
You can get the help of any licensed insurance provider to apply through the plan.
NOTE: Car insurance obtained through the plan is typically much more expensive. Try to exhaust all your policy options on the open market before using this one.
Questions and Concerns
In some cases, car insurance coverage can be confusing or difficult to navigate. The South Dakota Division of Insurance provides assistance to consumers.
Through the Division, you can:
- File a complaint.
- Report suspected fraud.
If you have an issue with your car insurance company that you are unable to resolve with them, you can request the help of the Division by filing a complaint. To do so, complete the Online Complaint Form and:
- Select the “Send Electronically" option at the bottom.
- Print and mail the form to the address on the form.
Car Insurance Fraud
When insurance fraud happens, car insurance companies pay the price. All too often, these costs get handed down to the consumer through increased premiums.
You can help by reporting insurance fraud when you suspect it. If you feel you've been the victim of fraud, or if you suspect that it has happened to someone else, you can contact the Division:
- By phone at (605) 773-6325.
- By fax at (605) 773-5369.
- Via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Determining Your SD Car Insurance Rates
When comparing car insurance quotes, it's important to remember that most companies weigh varying factors differently. These factors typically include:
- Your age and gender.
- Your credit history.
- The primary uses for your vehicle.
- Your driving record.
- The amount of coverage you're attempting to purchase.
- Your car's:
- The deductible you choose.
- Choosing higher deductibles will get you lower premiums.
- The main location where you'll park your vehicle.
- Any discounts that apply (see below).
Auto Insurance Discounts
Discounts can make a big difference in the estimates you get when comparison-shopping for car insurance. Make sure to ask about which discounts might apply to you. Typically, available discounts include:
- Good driver.
- Good student.
- Driver training.
- Safety device.
- Vehicle safety.
Always remember that the safest bet for getting cheap car insurance in South Dakota is to drive safely and avoid accidents. A good driving record is a key factor in buying and maintaining low-cost car insurance.
Most Stolen Cars in South Dakota
If your car is a common target for car theft, you may face higher car insurance rates.
The following is a list of the most stolen cars in South Dakota for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Ford Taurus.
- Buick Lesabre.
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
- Pontiac Grand Prix.
- GMC Pickup (Full Size).
- Ford Explorer.
- Pontiac Grand Am.
- Chevrolet Impala.
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